Jevon Carter, Bruce Brown Jr. take different routes to NBA draft

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Miami guard Bruce Brown Jr., left, participates in a pre-draft workout with West Virginia guard Jevon Carter at the Sixers Training Complex in Camden, N.J., on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s 76ers predraft workout lacked the luster of the previous two days when projected lottery picks Lonnie Walker IV, Miles Bridges, Zhaire Smith and Mikal Bridges graced the team’s facility.

That’s because the latest workout was designed for second-round targets, potential summer-league team acquisitions and possible talent for their NBA G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.

The Sixers had two intriguing prospects on hand who are taking different paths to next Thursday’s NBA draft.

Point guard Jevon Carter, 22, said he stayed at West Virginia all four years because he wasn’t ready “challenge-wise” and “mentally” to leave early.

Then there’s Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. He applied for the NBA draft despite playing in just 19 games last season due to a stress fracture in his left foot that required surgery in February. The 21-year-old wasn’t even able to attempt an NBA-distance three-point shot until the week leading up the draft combine on May 17-18 due to the injury.

“I just have a chip on my shoulder that I know I can get back to where I was,” said Brown, who was projected by some draft analysts to be a lottery pick at the start of the season. “I know teams are going to believe in me, and believe that I can do that.

“So it just adds a chip on the shoulder, and I’m ready to go after guys that go before me.”

>>READ MORE: The Sixers should draft Mikal Bridges if they can get him

Right now, that list could be 30-plus players long.

CBS Sports’ mock draft has the Atlanta Hawks selecting him with the 30th and final pick of the first round. However, NBADraft.net has him sliding all the way to No. 54 to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Sixers have the 10th and 26th overall picks in the first round of the June 21 draft. They also have four second-round picks: Nos. 38, 39, 56 and 60.

NBADraft.net projects Carter will go 42nd to the Detroit Pistons.

“Honestly, it was just more experience,” Carter said of not coming out of college last summer. “Putting myself in a lot of different situations, being able to be comfortable late in the game, just knowing time and score and making the right decisions. Just knowing a lot of stuff I didn’t know before that.”

The move paid off as he garnered second-team all-American honors and won his second Big 12 defensive player of the year award.

His stellar on-ball defense was on full display during Wednesday’s workout. He made players work extremely hard to maneuver on the court and get off shots. Meanwhile, Brown showed some of the bounce that made him an explosive player as a freshman at Miami.

Bucknell guard Stephen Brown also looked good in the six-player workout. While small in stature, the 5-foot-11, 160-pounder used his quickness to get by defenders in the drills open to the media. He also hit open shots and made the right passes.

However, Bruce Brown and Carter were the headliners, and they didn’t disappoint.

“Jevon Carter stood out all summer [in predraft workouts],” said Elton Brand, general manager of the Blue Coats. “Just because of his defense, really, really can play ‘D.’ His tenacity. And he’s made a lot of shots.”

The Sixers have been impressed with him for some time.

“We have a lot of intel on him,” Brand said. “We were at the Villanova game [against West Virginia in the East Region semifinal], and he had one guard with six or seven turnovers, and it was because of him and his defensive tenacity.”

Brand, who played 17 NBA seasons, said Carter will do well in the league.

Meanwhile, the Sixers were interested in getting an up-close look at Bruce Brown following his injury.  The 6-5 guard appears to be getting back to his normal self. He recorded a 42-inch vertical leap before his injury and one of 38 inches shortly after being cleared to resume basketball activities.

“He played well today,” Brand said. “Shot the ball really well. It’s about space and we like shooters.”

Carter, Bruce Brown and Stephen Brown were joined in the workout by Wake Forest guard Bryant Crawford, Michigan swingman Duncan Robinson, and forward Maverick Rowan, of the G League’s Lakeland Magic.